That Unauthorized Jay-Z Biography Doesn’t Reveal Anything He Didn’t Want You To Know

- By Bossip Staff

You might not remember this, but around the time Jay-Z‘s “Decoded” came out, it was announced that some writer from Forbes was writing an unauthorized biography about him.

The biography, “Empire State Of Mind: How Jay-Z Went From Street Corner To Corner Office,” has been out since March 17. You probably haven’t heard about that much about it, which we’re sure the all mighty Hov and Illuminati cronies had a hand in.

But they didn’t stop it from coming out. Which means Jay wasn’t worried about it. Because the author claims Camel has definitely read it.

Greenburg also notes that Jay’s camp may have sped up the release date of his part memoir, part lyrical explanation guide ‘Decoded’ in an attempt to curb the press behind the ‘Empire State of Mind’ biography. “As the thing was moving along I kept emailing his publicist saying, ‘Do you want me to send you an advanced copy?” Greenburg discloses. “I didn’t hear anything back. A couple weeks before it came out she said, ‘Please can you messenger over a couple copies,’ and since then I’ve heard from a couple of mutual acquaintances that they’ve talked to Jay-Z at parties and he’s certainly aware of it. The last person that I talked to about it says he denies having read it, but this person thinks he has in fact read it and just doesn’t want to tell anybody.”

The author Zack O’Malley Greenburg may have tapped every salty ni**a with a Jay-Z grudge as sources for the book – from DeHaven to Jaz-O to no dough Dame Dash – he didn’t set out to completely make Illuminati Hov sound as self-serving and cowardly as others have over the years.

Greenburg hopes that the book will enlighten readers to previously undiscussed topics around Jay-Z’s life and career. As a writer for Forbes, Greenburg is the man behind their yearly Hip-Hop Cash Kings list, of which Jay-Z has appeared on since its inception in 2007, and continues to work as an editor and journalist in the hip-hop community.

“I set out to write it in as balanced a way possible,” he explained. “First and foremost, this is a great American rags to riches story that Jay-Z has come from having absolutely nothing to absolutely everything. I don’t think that you can knock him too much regardless of what you’re thinking just based on the sheer volume of what he’s accomplished. That said, he’s really cut out a lot of people along the way and whether or not he was justified in doing so, I try to leave that up to the reader.”

He actually originally wanted Jay in on his project.

According to Greenburg, he refused to take part in the project without a promise of personal financial gain. “My first action when I wrote the book was to go to [Jay-Z’s manager] John Meneilly,” he states. “I wanted to get them on board and I went in and I thought it would be a slam dunk. Here I am writing this business book, this biography, a Forbes writer writing about Jay-Z, he’s got so much invested in his image as a businessman [that] I thought it would be a great opportunity that he would want to be involved in. I pitched the book, the response that I got was, ‘What’s in it for us?’ The more you look at it, that’s how Jay-Z operates, he doesn’t do anything unless he’s getting something out of it.”

As a result, the secrets he shares are the kind of Jay-Z facts you could probably have guessed on your own. For example, business overrides personal in the Knowles-Carter household.

Clearly, Jay-Z and Beyoncé haven’t allowed marriage to get in the way of their rigorous touring and recording schedules. Being able to afford private jets is helpful, but even when they’re on the road to see each other perform in concert work comes first. On one occasion in early 2008, Beyoncé flew to Miami for a Jay-Z show but made sure to schedule some time in the recording studio beforehand with James “Jim Jonsin” Scheffer, a Grammy-winning producer based in South Florida.

Beyoncé set up a time to come to Jonsin’s studio and listen to a few tracks he’d cooked up, including the one that eventually became ‘Sweet Dreams,’ a hit single. “We made the track, and she comes by around four or five o’clock to listen to it; she’s going to go to Jay-Z’s concert at six,” recalls Jonsin. “So we play some music for her. That particular song, she went nuts. She loved it. She insisted on going in the vocal booth and recording it right then and there, so she started cutting it, and she was late to Jay-Z’s concert.”

Hmmm. Does that surprise you?


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    Jay doesn’t strike me as being very interesting. if im being honest, most the time he just seems like your average hip-hop 5 words a min pseudo-thug.

  • Sasha Flop

    who the hell do they think is interested in this book? LOL only beyonce stans, and they can’t even read! LMAO

  • #justsayin

    …and we’re supposed to care, or be impressed?

  • Michael

    “I pitched the book, the response that I got was, ‘What’s in it for us?’ The more you look at it, that’s how Jay-Z operates, he doesn’t do anything unless he’s getting something out of it.”

    ^ DUH! offcourse that’s how Jay operates, and every other person in this world in the world for that matter…

    • Daisy Jay

      HA! You’re right. Hey Michael!

    • Michael

      @ Daisy

      Hey! How are you? 🙂

  • Jan

    Why the hate. They are taking are of business now, they have plenty of time for kids or whatever when they feel the time is right. It works for them, its their lives, not ours.

  • $k8orDIE

    I aint mad at JAY Z for “not doing something unless he is getting something out of it” Thats how corporate world is anyways, aint no charity cases in the music business! btw What was wrong with BEYONCE being late to one of his concerts? She was a music artist before she got married and that is what pays her bills! Jay does go on like 20 city tours, whats one out of 20, she could have made the next one!

  • 81million and still counting

    jay-z is a thug who wealth was first finance from selling ‘CRACK’

    • Di Oc

      How do you know? Did he sell some to you?

  • Mel B

    Wow, business before family. She all up i her I AM tour cant wait to see him. I was wondering why they had soo much money but never flew to their concerts to be together. Heck, she could go on his 20 city tour and vise versa. Wonder why out of 20 dates, she could only make 1. That ish wont last forever when career comes before love.

  • Lester Marrow

    I Love Jay Z truly for being an inspiration of hope to many.
    I speak out in reference
    relating to our legendary endeavors
    which happen to have been claimed as one of the greatest hip hop battles ever.
    Thank you Jay for helping us make history.
    Harlem Knights
    Lester Marrow
    Author of the novel
    “the Streets of Harlem”

  • Honut Sinti


  • TriniSazon

    I love Jayz and hes a role model for all these confused young thugs ..- jayz went from selling drugs to rapper to a business man ..he’s respected by everyone ,hes smart and he stays out of trouble and at the TOP of forbes list diddy following right after .. unlike half of these ignorant rappers who dont know how to act stay in and out jail


    This dude may have alot of money but nothing else. He really need to sit his old azz down because he cannot Rap for shyt. He need to go somewhere asap instead of worring about Rihanna & Chris who we all know that Chris is mad happy now. Rihanna,Jay-Z side kick have money but she is not happy. Next someone will come out with a tell all about that night that Jay-Z and company covered up. Everyone loves to know the truth and someone one out there will tell who was the mastermind behind that Rihanna & Chris situation (Jay-Z)

  • SO

    the funniest part is when they zoomed in on the fact that beyonce was late to his concert cracked me up!!! DO YOU HONESTLY THINK JAY GOT UPSET THAT HIS WIFE WAS A FEW MINUTES LATE BECAUSE SHE WAS MAKIN A QUICK MILLIE OR TWO??? they are married. she will see him when she get home.

  • Di Oc

    Well, yes he can rap says his multi-million dollar business! WHat is your income? I don’t think anyone should take your word as final!

  • Kim

    Played out both of them who cares. Truth is we’re tried of seeing them both.

    Get lost.


    If Jay-Z and Beyonce is so played out, irritating and non-talented why do the HATERS steady read or even click on these stories to say dumb stuff. If I don’t like an artist I will not waste my time commenting on how much they get on my nerves! LOSERS!

  • newsandshit

    team beyonce!

  • newsandshit

    people they are entertainers. americans who work 9to5s will never be able to understand or comprehend the entertainment business. jay and bey r doing what they have to..or the next couple will. money comes first..babies, debt, all the tackyness is not on their life’s goals..sorry urban america. oh did u see now they poppin

  • mondaymorn

    dude needs an ice casket is all im going to say on this matter. ta-ta.

  • TennesseeTitan

    not mad at them!wish i had a fraction of their dough!

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